Newsletter: Life and Excitement at an Uncertain Time

Finnmarksløpet 2016, Christine Karijord
Christine Karijord participates in the Finnmark race for the fifth time. Here from 2016. (Photo: Karijord Huskies)

Dear reader; Fortunately, pleasant events, such as two major dog races – one no less than a world championship – creates life and excitement in a region impacted by defense and uncertainty.

We kick off with this week's commentary by Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm, who takes a closer look at what actually lies in the future of the green shift: 

"Just as the energy debate was about to move into a somewhat calmer phase, Norwegian socialists throw themselves into the arms of President Joe Biden and wish for American conditions in Norway," writes Holm in this week's commentary that is truly worth a read. 

A dog's life 

On Friday, Europe's longest sled dog race started and the kick-off took place in Alta, Finnmark with 115 participants. (Norwegian only) 

Iditarod, one of the world's toughest sled dog races also kicked off recently. The race stretches across 1500 kilometers in the state of Alaska. 

The consequences of the war

 The war in Ukraine continues to impact the High North and especially the Norwegian border municipality Sør-Varanger. 

In the center of the border town of Kirkenes, you can experience a gallery of protest art from the Russian streets (Norwegian only). 

On the industrial side, the constant call for port bans creates great uncertainty in Kirkenes. 

The UK continues to step up its Arctic engagement and partnership with Norway in the region. 

And new research findings debunk the notion that Northern Norwegians have other attitudes towards Russia than people in the south of Norway. 

Sweden and Finland's NATO accession is still unclear, and the NATO Secretary General says that the accession of Finland and Sweden is a top priority. 

In addition, you can read about the new EU sanctions that target the operator of Russia’s nuclear icebreaker fleet. 

Norway takes over the chairship of the Arctic Council from Russia in May and on the 28th of March, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs launches the program for Norway's chairship of the Arctic Council. (Norwegian only) 

Icy problems 

Then there are climate news. 

A new study finds high levels of “forever chemicals” in a Svalbard ice core. 

Also read about the unusual amounts of multiyear ice in the Laptev and Siberian Sea, that could lead to difficult summer navigation along Russia’s Northern Sea Route (NSR). 

Still, coal from Siberia could soon find its way to markets in Asia via the Yenisei River and the NSR. 

From Norway, the country leads all Arctic coastal states in terms of shipping traffic increase. 

Read about this and more at High North News. 

Wishing you a great weekend on behalf of the editorial staff,

News Editor Trine Jonassen 

This newsletter was translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.